Handiham World for November 11, 2019

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Monday, November 11, 2019

This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny Handiham Program, serving people with disabilities in Amateur Radio since 1967.

Our contact information is at the end.

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Welcome to Handiham World.

In this edition:

  • A note from the coordinator
  • News in Assistive Technology
  • From the Mailbag
  • Interview of the Week
  • Ham Radio in the News
  • A Dip in the Pool
  • Website Update
  • Equipment Connection
  • Help Needed
  • Check into our nets!
  • …And more!

A note from the coordinator…

Another change is coming to the Handiham Program. As we increase the services we are providing, the cost of a Handiham Program membership is increasing too. For anyone who has already upgraded to a life membership, you will not be affected. For those of you who renew yearly, the cost beginning in January of 2020 will increase to $15 per year. Additionally, the life membership will increase to $150. If you want to avoid the increase, you can contact Pemdy to either renew early or to upgrade to a life membership before the Handiham Program office closes for the annual holiday break in December.

Are you a newer ham? A great podcast to listen to is the ARRL’s So Now What. The latest episode is a Halloween and throwback special. With a new episode released every other week, I would encourage you to check it out at: http://www.arrl.org/so-now-what

If you are having trouble receiving your E-Letter, you can always go to https://handiham.org/wordpress1/weekly-e-letter/ to see the latest E-Letter. Additionally, you can go to https://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 to listen to the current podcast. These links are updated each time a new E-Letter and podcast is released.

Pemdy and I will be in the office during our usual hours this week. Don’t forget, the office will be closed on November 27 and 28 in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. If you call the Handiham Program office, and we do not answer, please leave a message. When you leave that message, don’t forget to leave your name, phone number, call sign, if you have one, and the reason for your call. Also, if you send an email, please include your name along with your call sign, and the reason for your email to speed up the response time. As always, if you need to update anything like your contact information, call sign, license class, membership, or members only log-in information, you can email us at handiham@allina.com.

In the E-Letter, there is an article about a company that makes 3D representations for people who are blind or visually impaired, another article about a worldwide increase in 60-meter privileges, and the next part of our interview with Handiham Program member and volunteer, Tom Behler, KB8TYJ. Of course, you can also find the regular articles you see here each week.

Do you have a story to share about assistive technology or ham radio related activities? Please send your articles and stories via email to Lucinda.Moody@allina.com or by calling me at 612-775-2290.

News in Assistive Technology


photo of 3D campus map with audio options

3DPhotoWorks tactile printing delivers visual information to the blind, promotes independence, improves self-confidence, and enhances learning. The goal of the company is to create a worldwide network of museums, science centers, and learning institutions willing to provide their blind visitors with visual information. Tactile Fine Art Printing converts any 2-dimensional image to a 3-dimensional, tactile fine art print. The prints have length, width, depth, and texture. Sensors are embedded throughout the prints that when touched, activate audio. Prints are available in sizes up to 5ft x 10ft. You can learn more at: https://www.3dphotoworks.com

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

A couple of days ago, my laptop stopped working. It wouldn’t boot up. It would just sit and run and get good and hot. I didn’t have time then to work on it and really didn’t think I could do anything with it. But this afternoon, I decided to try Be My Eyes and see if they could help me.

I got the volunteer on and it turns out she is an IT specialist, so she knew what she was doing. She told me what the screen said and told me to take the top option and just to hit enter. The computer came up but without the screen reader going.

She was able to tell me that it wasn’t on the desk top, so when I did left
windows D, it went to the desk top and the screen reader came on and
everything was working again. So, in less than five minutes, I had my laptop up and running again.

Thanks and 73,

Matt, KA0PQW

Interview of the Week

This week, we have the next part of our interview with Tom, KB8TYJ. Tom shares with us how he became interested in and developed the SKYWARN for the Blind and Visually Impaired class that he has held for the past three years in West Michigan.
Photo of arm in suit jacket with hand holding a large communications microphone.

TB: So, we’re convinced that we’re onto something here, and Ernie Ostuno and the National Weather Service are interested in doing it again. So, we’re going to see what we can do this coming year to make it even better.

LM: You know, it’s interesting because, of course, I didn’t attend in 2017 when it would have been so convenient because I was right there. And, in 2018, you contacted me, and I got signed up early. And, I was so impressed!

LM: And 2019—the differences in the 3D models—they appeared to be so much better! And a lot more audio clips were added in 2019 too. And I still remember the dogs at my table. There were two guide dogs, and neither one of them were comfortable with the sound of the tornado. But all the others, including the wind and hail, the dogs were fine with.

LM: That was interesting to me because there were two dogs at my table, and one was younger and one was older, and they were both doing the same thing—trying to get their handlers to safety.

TB: I remember you reporting that. I’ve always taken this approach to life—you know, you get excited about an idea, and you want to see stuff happen, and you want to see stuff happen now. But things don’t always go that way.

TB: And I always told myself and I told my students and my wife and I have told our son that whenever things are going more slowly than you’d like them to, just take a look back and see where you’ve come from. And that was amazing when I looked at the SKYWARN training class.

TB: When we started with an idea, and we didn’t even necessarily have a clue how to implement it, or whether it would even be successful—and you just had to start. And the first time we did it, there were 15 people.

TB: And don’t forget that it’s not always easy for the blind and visually impaired community to make travel arrangements for something like this. They had to do that for themselves. We couldn’t do it for them. You add all that together, and you get to realize that there’s a need there, and somehow we have started to meet it.

LM: I’ve been amazed at the number of parents who are bringing their blind kids to the class. And these kids are excited because they are learning about weather in a way that makes sense to them, and they don’t get that at school.

TB: There is a discussion going on here in Michigan about how we could take this program into the schools so that kids could take advantage of it.

LM: That would be great! You know, up to this point, nobody in the United States was trying to make weather training accessible to people who were blind or visually impaired. I just think it’s neat that you didn’t let that stop you.

TB: No. That’s what was kind of exciting about it. We didn’t do any extensive survey work, but it kind of helped that I had that position out in Colorado, because that put me in contact with weather service offices all across the country.

TB: And I got the message that no one had really thought about this, and if we wanted to do it, there was a clear road ahead because no one else was doing it at that point. And I think that was a key motivator too because when you have an idea like that that no one else is doing, it just drives you.

LM: Oh, yes. And there is such a clear need for it. It would be great if we could see this rolled out in schools throughout the country!

Stay tuned for the next part of our interview with Tom airing next week.

Ham Radio in the News

Access to 60 Meters Continues to Expand

HF amateur radio rig

An ever-increasing number of countries are granting amateur radio access to the 60-meter band including Kuwait, Indonesia, and Greece. Israel plans to add 60-meter privileges at the end of December, and Australia is considering the addition. In the United States, the ARRL petitioned the FCC to increase the power limit to 100 W PEP, which would double the existing power limit. You can learn more at: http://www.arrl.org/news/access-to-60-meters-continues-to-expand

A Dip in the Pool
drawing of person studying

It’s time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the question pool…

Let’s go to the new General Class pool this week to a question about impedance:

G5A01 asks: What is impedance?

Possible answers are:
A. The electrical charge stored by a capacitor.
B. The inverse of resistance.
C. The opposition to the flow of current in an AC circuit.
D. The force of repulsion between two similar electric fields.

The definition of impedance is the opposition to the flow of alternating current in a circuit, making answer C the correct choice. Impedance to alternating current can involve only resistance, only reactance, or both resistance and reactance. In fact, you can produce impedance to alternating current by simply winding a wire around a pencil to create a coil. This handy “choke” might lessen the alternator whine that can be problematic in a mobile HF station that is temporarily installed in your vehicle.

Website Update

Photo of the words website update with construction equipment working on the letters.

Here are the latest updates on the new Handiham.org website. Don’t forget to monitor the site for updates throughout the week. When changes are made, I will post to the website. You can also find the latest updates any time by going to https://handiham.org/wordpress1/website-updates/. If you have any feedback about the website, I would love to hear from you. If you are a current member and your credentials are not allowing you to login to the site, please contact Pemdy for assistance at handiham@allina.com or 612-775-2291.

Equipment Connection

Photo of Icom IC-7200 with LDG auto-tuner and power supply.

Equipment connections are happening, and the list is open! If you have a request for the Equipment Connection, contact me, leaving your name and phone number. I will call you to discuss your request. Please note that it may take several days for a return call due to all the other things going on in the Handiham Program. If you don’t hear back from me after two weeks, you may contact me a second time. Additionally, if you have received any equipment from the Handiham Program during the last 12 months, you will automatically be placed at the bottom of the list so that others can also participate in the Equipment Connection.

Many thanks to the numerous people who have offered equipment for Handiham Members. If you have equipment that you would like to donate to a Handiham Program member, please email Lucinda at Lucinda.Moody@allina.com or call 1-612-775-2290.

Help Needed

Photo of note with the words help needed written on it.

The Handiham Program needs contributors to Handiham World. Do you have a particular interest in amateur radio that you would like to share with others? Maybe you have a particular mode or band you like to operate and have learned a lot about. Or maybe you have some great stories to share from your experiences in the amateur radio hobby. Put your writing skills to work for Handiham World by sending your submissions to Lucinda.Moody@allina.com.

We are always looking for more readers, including some with a background in teaching in STEM related fields, especially if you have also worked with students requiring accommodations. We also need some readers with a background in teaching in STEM related fields, especially if you have also worked with students requiring accommodations. This volunteer position requires you to use your own equipment to record, however, we will provide the reading materials. If you or someone you know would like to try reading material for the members only section, please contact me for more information on how to submit a demo recording.

We need help updating our available resources for members. If you are blind and enjoy using your ham radio or assistive technology related devices, your assistance is especially needed. It would be a big help to your fellow Handiham Members if you would record a tutorial or product review. These need to be sent in Mp3 format, and the Handiham Program reserves the right to edit the recordings as needed before publishing in the Members Only section of the Handiham.org website. Please contact me at Lucinda.Moody@allina.com or 612-775-2290 if you have any questions.

I want to say a big thank you to those who have made or volunteered to make tutorials for the Members Only portion of the website. We have already had a number of members step up to offer their services, and their help is greatly appreciated! We also have some new readers who are working on some books, so keep watching for website updates as we add more content.

Check into our Handiham nets… Everyone is welcome!

How to find the Handiham Net:

  • The Handiham EchoLink conference is 494492. Connect via your iPhone, Android phone, PC, or on a connected simplex node or repeater system in your area.
  • The Handiham DMR Talkgroup on Brandmeister is 31990. On AllStar, it is available at node 47367.
  • The Handiham Net will be on the air daily. If there is no net control station on any scheduled net day, we will have a roundtable on the air get-together.

Cartoon multicolored stickman family holding hands, one wheelchair user among them.

Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for anyone and everyone who wishes to participate at 11:00 hours CDT (Noon Eastern and 09:00 Pacific), as well as Wednesday evenings at 19:00 hours CDT (7 PM). If you calculate GMT, the time difference is that GMT is six hours ahead of Minnesota time during the winter.

Doug, N6NFF, poses a trivia question in the first half of the Wednesday evening session, so check in early if you want to take a guess. The answer to the trivia question is generally given shortly after the half-hour mark. A big THANK YOU to all of our net control stations.


  • You can pay your Handiham dues and certain other program fees on line. Simply follow the link to our secure payment site, then enter your information and submit the payment.

    • Handiham annual membership dues are $12.00 and increasing to $15 in January of 2020. The lifetime membership rate is $120.00 and increasing to $150 in January of 2020.
    • If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our donation website. The instructions are at the following link:
  • As always, while our other services require that you have a current Handiham Program membership, you do not have to be a member to receive the Handiham World E-Letter.

How to contact us

There are several ways to contact us.

Postal Mail:

Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road MR 78446
Golden Valley, MN 55422

E-Mail: handiham@allina.com

Preferred telephone: 1-612-775-2291
Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442)

Note: Tuesdays through Thursdays between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM United States Central Time are the best times to contact us.

You may also call Handiham Program Coordinator Lucinda Moody, AB8WF, at: 612-775-2290.

73, and I hope to hear you on the air soon!

For Handiham World, this is Lucinda Moody, AB8WF

The weekly e-letter is a compilation of assistive technology, operating information, and Handiham Program news. It is published on Mondays, and is available to everyone free of charge. Please email handiham@allina.com for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new address.